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County council reviews questions, requests for MP Dreeshen

Regular council meeting

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – Mountain View County councillors have reviewed questions and requests they hope to put to Red Deer-Mountain View Conservative MP Earl Dreeshen at a meeting scheduled for this week.

The move came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

“The inter-governmental communications committee met on Jan. 17 to develop a list of topics of interest to discuss in an upcoming meeting with the MP,” administration said in a briefing note to council. “All of the discussion points were developed based on being under the federal purview.”

Topics for the questions include those related to RCMP funding, rural crime/repeat offenders, access to cannabis for medical purposes regulations, broadband and CRTC minimum standards, and pension plan and Alberta CPP withdrawal proposed.

Questions related to the RCMP include the following:

• Is the federal government able to, or committed to, guaranteeing that new recruits will be available to fulfil the mandate the province of Alberta has outlined to increase by 300 RCMP officers by 2024?

• What is the federal government’s role in determining the priorities and role of the RCMP as it deals with provincial and municipal policing?

• What is the current process used to determine staffing levels with detachments?

Regarding rural crime and repeat offenders, the question is: “How does the federal government plan to help, through federal legislation and/or updating the Criminal Code of Canada, or increased funding to province reduction initiatives, to address the issue of repeat offenders?

Regarding access to cannabis for medical purposes regulations, the county is seeking a status update on the issues raised in a May 16, 2018 meeting with MP Dreeshen.

Regarding trade markets for agricultural production, one question reads: “Mountain View County would like to known what the federal government is planning/undertaking to maximize trade markets for agricultural producers, particularly canola producers.”

Regarding broadband, the county “encourages the federal government to ensure that projects approved under the broadband fund are geared towards closing the digital divide for fixed internet service rather than supplementing projects where the need isn’t as great but potentially more lucrative for the private industry proponents.”

Regarding the pension plan, the county will ask: “What is the position of the government and the official Opposition on discussions held by the government of Alberta on pulling out of the Canada Pension Plan, the impact you believe it could have on Albertans, and the likely reaction of the federal government to such an initiative?”

The questions and requests will be forwarded to Dreeshen’s office for review prior to the Feb. 12 meeting.

The questions and requests will also be forwarded to local MLAs.

Meanwhile, councillors instructed administration to attempt to set up meetings with the ministers of seniors and housing, Service Alberta, and economic development, trade and tourism at the upcoming spring Rural Municipalities of Alberta conference.

Coun. Al Kemmere did not attend the Feb. 5 council meeting.